People and the Sea IV: ‘Who Owns the Coast?’
5 -7 July, 2007
As coastal populations and economies expanded and the use of marine and coastal resources intensified, governance has become an issue of key concern. In response to mounting pressures, international conferences have reorganized space (such as the Law of the Sea) set new policy agendas (such as for integrated coastal zone management) and acted to protect key resources (such as by establishing marine parks and Ramsar sites). These initiatives are translated into national contexts and their effects are now being felt at local levels. The ownership and the distribution of rights to resources is, however, a fundamental problem. It is summarized in our lead question: ‘Who owns the coast?’ Who wins and loses as regimes of resource allocation shift? How can competing claims and objectives be recognized and balanced in governance?
These questions are addressed in four conference themes:
Governance is more than management: it relates to institutions, principles, and a long-term perspective. This theme covers the gamut of studies in the field of co-management, regulation, institutional design, and collective action.
According to theory, governance, policy-making and management have different concerns. Whereas governance includes the day-to-day problem-solving and opportunity-creation that managers typically engage in, it goes beyond management and policy in taking a long-term, overarching perspective. Governance thus enquires into the values and principles that inform action, and into the institutions that give direction. It recognizes that governors are located in government, but also in other parts of society. Recently, scientists in this field are also starting to examine the topic of governability, or the propensity for steerage.
This conference theme gathers the gamut of governance debates with regard to coastal and marine issues. Papers in this field may discuss co-management and participatory planning, or examine the dilemma’s involved in balancing environmental and developmental goals. They may highlight the tensions that affect Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) or consider the effects of legal pluralism. Their contributions may be conceptual, methodological or practical in nature, and may deal with local, national or transnational issues.
Theme: Space & Ownership
Papers that address the theme of Space & Ownership will address the construction, negotiation, and contestation of claims to territory. Topics include boundaries, zoning, and cross-scale analysis. Multiple stakeholders – such as tourists, environmentalists, industrial developers, fishers, and residents – make for competing claims and intractable negotiations.
One of the major issues in coastal governance is the organization of space. Globalized consumer demands for shrimp and salmon influence local governments to intensify aquaculture and coastal resource extraction. International environmental organizations lobby for the establishment of Marine Park Areas, often excluding artisanal fishermen in the areas concerned. And tourism and a growing leisure industry along the coast compete for space and fisheries resources with the local fishers’ population whose livelihood depends largely on fisheries.
These are examples of interacting and often competing claims at different spatial and temporal scales. Papers within this theme highlight the organization of coastal and maritime space. They may discuss property rights in new multi-stakeholder contexts, or the dynamics of legitimation and transgression. Papers in this stream may also focus on current events, such as sea-bound migration and border crossing.
Theme: Culture & Work Worlds
Anthropology, sociology, and history have a longstanding tradition of studying coastal and maritime cultures. Papers that address the theme of Culture & Work Worlds investigate topics such as the linkage between environment and occupation; symbolic worlds; and the use of cultural claims in the assertion of rights to coastal and maritime space and resources.
In his book Civilisations: Culture, Ambitions and the Transformation of Nature Fernández-Armesto (2001) argues that ‘nearness to the shore molds one’s outlook and affects the way one thinks’. It is clear that proximity to the sea has important cultural and social consequences. At the oncoming MARE conference, we wish to explore this theme further. Is there such a thing as a distinct maritime culture? Do coastal inhabitants share certain characteristics? Why is there such a divide between land-based studies and maritime studies?
Contributions to this stream may also include ethnographic and historical accounts of specific work worlds. Fishing communities have received a great deal of scholarly attention already. Much less, however, has been published about other occupational groups such as those employed on oil platforms, cruise ships, etc.
Theme: Innovation in Research Approaches
The theme: Innovation in Research Approaches solicits panels and papers that engage with the comparison and interaction of approaches. Methodologies relevant to the study of the relationship between people and the sea are particularly those which enable the crossing of boundaries. These are boundaries between disciplines, boundaries between spaces and times, and boundaries between practitioners and academics. This theme thus solicits panels and papers that engage with the comparison and interaction of approaches.
Three sub-themes stand out of particular interest, although submissions need not be limited to these areas. The first, in keeping with the keynote address of Daniel Pauly at the previous conference, is how to translate approaches and communicate between disciplines in dealing with coastal and maritime issues that are necessarily inter-disciplinary and cross between practice and research. The second is the specific issue of valuation: how do we reconcile different disciplinary and cultural approaches to the valuation of coastal resources. Third, we wish to solicit papers that engage with the new ecology of resilience thinking and complex social-ecological systems from different disciplinary perspectives. What are the insights and challenges that the new ecology presents to disciplinary ways of seeing the world?
Keynote addresses will be delivered by:
Thursday 5th of July – Venue: Waalse Kerk:
Bonnie J. McCay, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor
Rutgers University, New Jersey (USA):
The Littoral and the Liminal:Or why it is hard and critical to answer the question ‘Who Owns the Coast?’ Keynote Bonnie J. McCay
Friday 6th of July – Venue: OMHP
Yoshiaki Matsuda, Professor in the Faculty of Fisheries, Kagoshima University:
Coastal governance in Asia and the Pacific Keynote Yoshiaki Matsuda
Saturday 7th of July – Venue: OMHP
Daniel W. Bromley, Anderson-Bascom Professor of Applied Economics of the University of Wisconsin-Madison:
The Crisis in Ocean Governance: Conceptual Confusion, Economic Nonsense, Political IncoherenceKeynote Daniel W. Bromley